Pictures have surfaced of the girlfriend of a bullet factory worker who shot dead a black guy, 22, after the victim praised her on a night out, showing her smiling and posing with her reportedly would-be killer lover, as social media users demand she be prosecuted in the killing.
Ian Cranston, 27, was accused with the murder of Barry Washington Jr., 22, after allegedly paying a “respectful remark” to his girlfriend, Allie Butler, 27, outside a pub in Bend, Oregon.
Following a physical fight, the shooting was filmed and published on social media.
Footage from the event shows a lady, who some believe is Butler, yelling obscenity before bullets are fired.
Then a male voice, perhaps Cranston’s, shouts, ‘Hey, call the cops!’ and laughing may be heard
Later, the lady is overheard telling a man that the ‘person on the ground’ shoved her and punched her in the face, as well as striking her partner.
Although Butler was not accused in Washington’s killing, campaigners claim she egged Cranston on and ‘took joy’ in the attack. Cranston has been charged with second-degree murder, first-degree manslaughter, and first-degree assault. Some even allege she spit a racist slur at President Barack Obama.
‘YOU ARE NOT A VICTIM’.
You smiled and took delight in the death of a black guy whom you tormented, antagonized, and called a n***** while your lover, Ian Cranston, shot and murdered him. This murderer is now strolling the streets of Bend after paying a $10,000 fine on a manslaughter charge. While someone’s kid, friend, or loved one is no longer alive,’ commented Facebook user Casey Morris.
‘You walked away, smiling, while his corpse lay on the ground struggling for air.’ You lied to make yourself a victim of a hate crime in which you had a hand. You then transmitted your footage to a news source for personal gain.’
LaRhonda Tyson, who also took to social media, branded Butler a murderer outright.
‘Another innocent black man has been killed. BARRY WASHINGTON is his name. ‘He was killed in public, in cold blood, by IAN CRANSTON and ALLIE BUTLER,’ Tyson screamed.
Another Facebook user echoed her accusations, saying, ‘[Washington] was killed on film, taunted while dying, called racist insults, and the majority of people in the club just laughed at this black guy dying on the floor!’
‘Ian Cranston, his assassin in Bend. Oh, his girlfriend is laughing at him. I hope Allie Butler gets what she deserves! I didn’t even notice that someone was dying right in front of you.
The footage does not show if Butler was involved in the altercation, as the protestors claim.
Butler appears to have had a good relationship with Cranston, who claims to have received her bachelor’s degree from Portland State University, where she was also a cheerleader.
The two are seen smiling in photos shared on social media.
On Mother’s Day, Butler’s mother, Patty, turned to Facebook to thank Cranston and her ‘beautiful daughter’ for bringing flowers to ‘brighten up her day.’
The post featured a flower photo and a caption that said, ‘To the strongest and most kind-hearted lady we know.’ Mother’s Day greetings! ‘With love, Ian and Allie.’
At this point, the Butler family has not made any public statements about the incident.
On September 19, Washington was shot on a street in Bend, Oregon, after speaking with Butler outside The Capital pub.
‘It is believed that the initial encounter between Barry and Mr. Cranston occurred when Barry praised Mr. Cranston’s girlfriend,’ said Deschutes County District Attorney John Hummel.
‘There is no indication that Mr. Washington’s approach to the woman was improper.
‘There is no accusation that he touched her, grabbed her, or was obnoxious to her.’ In a courteous tone, he praised her. She was fine before. ‘No, thank you,’ she said. I’m honored, but I’m in a relationship.’ There is no claim that anything Mr. Washington did was improper.’
That was the end of the encounter, but Cranston, a machinist at bullet manufacturer Nosler, is said to have been ‘not pleased.’
Hummel said that the two men eventually argued outdoors, with some shoving and punches exchanged, but that things had settled down when Cranston reportedly took a pistol from his belt and shot Washington.
The first praise was not captured on video. Footage purportedly showing the tragic altercation was uploaded on social media, showing a guy thought to be Washington arguing with another man minutes before a gunshot rang out.
Police were summoned to the site and discovered Washington, who resided in Bend, lying on the sidewalk with a gunshot wound.
He was transported to the hospital and died the next day.
Cranston is now facing charges of second-degree murder, first-degree manslaughter, and first-degree assault.
He has not been prosecuted with a hate crime, but District Attorney Hummel stated that an investigation into whether the death was bias-motivated is ongoing, drawing parallels between the killing and past racist killings of black males.
‘If we get enough evidence to show that this shooting was at least largely motivated by race, we will go back to that grand jury and ask them to add the charge,’ he added.
‘It is thought that Barry and Mr. Cranston first interacted when Barry complemented Mr. Cranston’s girlfriend.
‘Our country has a shameful history of dehumanizing, persecuting, and lynching Black males for conversing with White women.’ Hundreds of people have phoned and contacted me in the last week to remind me of this history.’
Washington was’respectful,’ according to the district attorney, when he praised Cranston’s girlfriend. A hate crime charge has not been filed against the suspect.
Cranston has now been arrested and is being detained in Deschutes County Jail on a no-bail warrant, according to Hummel.
Cranston’s lawyer, Kevin Sali, accused Washington of being the aggressor and said that he physically assaulted his client, causing him to suffer head injuries.
Sali told CNN that ‘indisputable’ video footage reveals that ‘before Ian Cranston ever pulled his firearm, Barry Washington struck him without provocation, resulting in head injuries that necessitated the police to transport Mr. Cranston to the hospital for a brain scan and other treatments.’
Hummel was also chastised by Cranston’s defense attorney for his racial remarks.
‘I believe that once the evidence is shown at trial, someone will question the District Attorney about why he purposefully inflamed the community with remarks he knew were not backed by any evidence,’ Sali said.
Cranston did not enter a plea during his Friday appearance. He is scheduled to appear in court again on December 7.
Cranston has no past criminal history in Oregon, according to KTVZ. He has spent the last year working as a machinist for a firm that makes bullets.
According to the Bend Bulletin, Washington was a native of Benicia, California, who had only recently come to Bend with a buddy. His mother and younger siblings survive him.
‘This is really overwhelming. ‘The manner in which my son was murdered… it’s too much,’ Washington’s mother, Lawanda Roberson, wrote. ‘I’m in so much pain…’ I haven’t even begun to mourn. The legal situation is complicated…all while attempting to bury my kid.’
Washington, a California native, is shown on the left with his mother, Lawanda Roberson.
Meanwhile, Washington’s family and friends are asking that he be brought to justice.
Lawanda Roberson, Washington’s mother, stated at a vigil on September 26 that she wanted to make sure her son had a voice.
‘I am astounded. I can’t believe it. ‘I’m continually hearing about these tales,’ KTVZ said.
‘I really want to speak for my kid because I know there have been a lot of misinformation out there,’ she says.
At the vigil, Washington’s aunt, Valencia Roberson, also stated that the family feels his death was racially motivated.
‘Essentially, he informed him that they could do anything they wanted to him and kept calling him the ‘N’ word,’ Valencia claimed.
Washington allegedly asked Butler out on a date, which she turned down.
Although the initial compliment was not captured on film, the aftermath, including the fatal gunshot, was.
In the video purportedly depicting the incident, a man identified as Washington shouts bad words and lunges towards someone off camera.
On her Facebook page, Lawanda Roberson has also been campaigning for justice.
In a Tuesday post, she stated that she is “still in shock” and “overwhelmed by the technicalities of the case.”
She also expressed her condolences to her late son, adding, ‘I see your bright grin and your words you always say to me’mama I’m going to be nice’ and you know your mother.. not go relax and go make sure Justice is served!’
‘There isn’t time to sit and reflect on reality.’ You’ve left! But at the end of the night, reality set in, and I couldn’t handle it… my kid, my baby, was gone.’
Washington’s aunt started a GoFundMe effort to aid the family. It has already received almost $57,000 in contributions.